Ow! My Brain!

Most optical illusions can be broken once you know what you’re looking for. You can see how lines have been drawn to mislead the eye; you can focus on one spot for long enough to overcome whatever distracting element has been included; you can, in genera, unfool yourself.

Following the break is a beautifully simple illusion that I cannot break. I’ve tried. I put it into photoshop to verify that it’s genuine and it is.

Damn my brain.

The trick here? The blue and green are the same colour. Check it yourself in paint. Same colour.

My brain hurts.


Ryan is a professional nerd, teaching engineering in the frozen north. Somewhat less professionally, he is a costumer, author, blacksmith, juggler, gamer, serial enthusiast, and supporter of the Oxford comma. He can be found on twitter and instagram @studentofwhim. If you like what I do here, feel free to leave a tip in my tipjar.

Related Articles


  1. Okay… before I pop this into Photoshop to see the trick, I’ve noticed that if I stick my face closer to the screen and look at the widest blue areas, they turn a bit green towards the edge of the box. The thing is, which color is the correct color? The blue or the green?! I’ll find out in a sec… I hope.

    Edit: Okay, the actual color of both bands is green. If you zoom in and look at both bands where they are near, the illusion just about breaks. The illusion seems to be produced by layering a different color over the 2 green bands. The one the appears to be green has orange bands cutting through. The one that appears blue has magenta bands cutting through. Fascinating and beautiful illusion!

  2. Yeah, it’s easier to “break” near the edge of the image. I used my hands to mask other areas on the screen, and it seems it more towards green for the actual color. Interesting.

  3. Here’s the image with a border around it of the “mystery” color. MS Paint says it’s about* (0,255,150) in (R,G,B), which would be #00ff96 in web.

    (*) I say “about” because the image is JPEG, which is lossy.

  4. @jtradke, That’s pretty awesome. It’s still amazing how quickly the illusory blue becomes distinct even when it’s right next to a field of the real hue.

Leave a Reply

Back to top button